Exam Strategy

Disclaimer: This plan is tentative and is thus, subject to the whims of change over the next few days (not likely though).

Selected Texts

  1. “The Dream of the Rood”
  2. Kazuo Ishiguro, The Buried Giant
  3. Edgar Allan Poe, The Tell-tale Heart
  4. Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Yellow Wallpaper
  5. William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream
  6. Herman Melville, “Bartleby the Scrivener”
  7. Derek Walcott, Dream on Monkey Mountain
  8. Emily Dickinson, “I Felt a Funeral in My Brain,” “The Brain is Wider than the Sky,” “Tell All the Truth but Tell It Slant,” and “Hope Is the Thing with Feathers”
  9. Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man
  10. Harriet Jacobs, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl
  11. Virginia Woolf, “The Mark on the Wall”

My list is mainly comprised of texts that I am mostly familiar with and therefore feel capable of writing about. The few texts that I may not be familiar with, are ones that I intend to read or present on (like Monkey Mountain). I chose texts that I will be most comfortable writing about. As for the supplemental readings, I chose some of them based on the class presentations and others on how promising they looked at first skim (I still have some reading to do).

I have coupled the primary texts with the supplementary readings that I hope to use for each. I have not given any explanations for how I will be using each because I am still working that out, but I am pretty set on the pairing.

Genre

  • “The Dream of the Rood”- Steven Kruger, from Dreaming in the Middle Ages
  • Emily Dickinson, “I Felt a Funeral in My Brain,” “The Brain is Wider than the Sky,” “Tell All the Truth but Tell It Slant,” and “Hope Is the Thing with Feathers” -Seo-Young Chu, Excerpts from Do Metaphors Dream of Literal Sleep?: A Science Fictional Theory of Representation (considering whether I need to tackle all of the poems or just focus on a few; or does this depend on what my argument will be?)
  • Virginia Woolf, “The Mark on the Wall”- Karen Smyth, “Virginia Woolf’s Elegiac Enterprise”
  • Herman Melville, “Bartleby the Scrivener” -Unreadable Minds and the Captive Reader H. Porter Abbott

Historical Context

  • William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream -Larry Swain, “Exploring the Depth and Beauty of Anglo-Saxon Literature” (interview with James Wiener)
  • Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Yellow Wallpaper -Jürgen Wolter, “‘The Yellow Wallpaper’: The Ambivalence of Changing Discourses”

Theory

  • Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man -W.E.B. DuBois, The Souls of Black Folk and/or William Lyne, “The Signifying Modernist: Ralph Ellison and the Limits of Double Consciousness”
  • Edgar Allan Poe, The Tell-tale Heart -Jan Alber, et al, “Unnatural Narratives, Unnatural Narratology: Beyond Mimetic Models”
  • Harriet Jacobs,Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl -Homi K. Bhabha, Introduction to The Location of Culture
  • Kazuo Ishiguro, The Buried Giant -Sebastian Groes, ed., Selected Essays from Memory in the 21st Century: New Critical Perspectives from the Arts, Humanities, and Sciences

Flexibility and Modularity

  • Along with the historical context, The Yellow Wallpaper, has room for being used in theory with Michel Foucault, “Panopticism” from Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison. I would consider discussing this idea with “Bartleby” or “The Mark on the Wall”.
  • I could work Derek Walcott’s, Dream on Monkey Mountain, into the genre of play-writing. There is also a possibility to discuss it in terms of dream theory, using Sebastian Groes, ed., Selected Essays from Memory. I have not finished reading this play yet, so these are only assumptions based on what I have already read.

I am sure that there are more texts that have flexibility of use, and I will be giving more thought about this aspect as I continue to prepare for the exam.

One thought on “Exam Strategy”

  1. Hey Asheka! You have a really good variety of texts here that you can draw from, so you should feel pretty good going into the next couple of weeks. I would perhaps suggest maybe finding more ways to use some of your other texts. For example, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, being a drama, could also be used for your drama section. I’m sure you know all the text very well, so I’d just say come back to your list again in a few days and reread it with fresh eyes. This kind of thing always helps me make new connections.

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